Monday, November 26, 2012

Perfect Moment Monday: Some Moments Reveal Their Perfection in Retrospect

Susie* was eight years old. She had already been in ten foster homes, and the county workers assigned to her case believed that if she moved again, it would be to a group home. She had stayed with Greg and Joan for the last nine months, and it seemed as though she had found stability. Then the call came.

 photo credit: kevin dooley (via Flickr)

It was about ten at night, and I was parked outside of a Target after an abnormally late night of work as a foster care social worker. My phone rang, and the screen told me it was Judith, our on-call supervisor. Her frantic voice greeted me, “Addison, can you think of any homes that would take an emergency placement for the night? Greg and Joan are demanding that we move Susie.” How could they do this to Susie? Somehow, reason prevailed over rage and I suggested the home of Rebekah, a tough, experienced single mother who was still fairly new to foster care.

Rebekah took Susie in. The next morning she shared that Susie greeted her by asking “Can I stay here forever?” Whether it was the sign of attachment difficulties or just a logical question for an often-moved kid, Rebekah’s answer was solid: “As far as it depends on me, yes.  I can’t say what will happen, because I don’t control circumstances, but I promise that I will never ask for you to be moved.” That answer would be disastrous if it was given in vain - but Rebekah is tough, determined, and she keeps her commitments.

When Judith’s late-night call came, I thought the moment was far from perfect. Susie was moved from yet another home. Later investigations showed that Greg and Joan blamed Susie for something another child did. She seemed likely to be headed to a group home through no fault of her own, and we needed a quick, safe place for her to spend the night.

 (photo credit: Anna (bcmom) via Flickr)

Sometimes perfect moments only reveal themselves in retrospect. Sometimes, perfect moments only result from Divine creativity applied to horrible situations. This is one of those cases. Susie did stay with Rebekah. It’s been over five years since the call and Susie has found a forever home with Rebekah. Her adoption was finalized a couple years ago. I hear from them occasionally, and Susie is happy and thriving. Rebekah has actively pursued contact with Susie's birth family, and that is going well, too. Who would have imagined that a late-night emergency call would result in a permanent home? It truly was a perfect moment.

Lori at says that Perfect Moment Mondays are about noticing and celebrating the perfect moments that happen in your life, rather than going out of your way to stress about creating “perfect moments.” What have been the perfect moments in your life? Consider sharing them with Lori, or visit her site to read more perfect moments.

Want to smile more? Check out my Perfect Moment post from October - about how a young child influenced the practice of a foster family agency. You might also resonate with my Thanksgiving post - Ten Things I'm Thankful For. 

(* This story, and all case stories on this blog, are compilations of many stories. No real names are used, and details are disguised to protect anonymity)


  1. Another beautiful post Addison. I know your work is stressful and that not all of your stories will have happy endings but it's so nice to read that sometimes the outcomes really are perfect.

  2. They often do have happy endings. A juvenile court judge once told me that happy endings make the unhappy work more bearable.

  3. Love the lesson here. It should serve to remind me the next time I rail against fate and shake my fist at the sky that maybe, just maybe, all is right in my world even if I don't know it.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

  4. Thanks, Lori. I'm really glad you started this Perfect Moment thing :)

  5. Good to meet you, Addison, and this is a precious story. I think your blog is an excellent adoption resource.

  6. Thanks so much, Heather! I'm glad you found me!

  7. Here via Lori's Perfect Moment Mondays and really appreciate the story you shared. So happy to here that little girl found her forever home and that single mom welcomed her with open arms.

  8. Thanks, Kathy. Her story is an ongoing source of joy for me :)

  9. What a truly beautiful moment. Thanks for sharing it through PMM and bringing a smile to my face.

    Dragondreamer's Lair

  10. Thanks Kristin! I'm glad to share the joy :)

  11. Addison, this truly is a Perfect MOM..ent.

    Good luck in all the good that you do.

    1. Thanks, Viola! When stuff like this happens, the world feels so much better!


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